The Mayor of Dallas Texas called Confederate monuments symbols of injustice. So, what will a city task force on monuments say about the city’s namesake?
Introduction: Dallas, Texas is among U.S. cities that have removed, or are considering removing, Confederate monuments from public lands. In Dallas, an appointed task force is deciding if that city joins the 2017 Great Purge of American History. The integrity of their deliberations requires they review the history of George Mufflin Dallas, Vice President during the James K. Polk Presidency (March 1845 – March 1849).
In a series of 6 postings, a case will be made for applying the same moral standards to the man Dallas as is applied to Confederate monuments. If that happens, the question may become: Should the City of Dallas be renamed?
Dallas: The Series
Part 1: Will Dallas join the 2017 Great Purge of American History?
Part 2: Who was George Mifflin Dallas in American History?
Part 3: Life of George Mifflin Dallas, Vice President of the United States
Part 4: City of Dallas is named after a Democrat Party politician whose support for the Fugitive Slave Act
Part 5: Dallas praised Pennsylvania’s denunciation of slavery in 1835
Part 6: Will Dallas join the 2017 Great Purge of American History? (Part 6)
On August 15, 2017, the Dallas News (“Powered by the Dallas Morning News”) reported that “Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said Tuesday he doesn’t like the Confederate monuments in the city’s public spaces and considers them a ‘symbol of injustice’ and divisive and ‘dangerous totems’…Rawlings said he also wants the new Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation team and the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum to advise city officials on the issue.”
Also on August 15, a local CBS website said that Rawlings “also called the public tributes ‘monuments of propaganda.’ ”
Although the Mayor’s personal sentiments are clear, he wants an inclusive and deliberative process to help make a decision concerning the monuments. “ ‘It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and say ‘tear it down’ because it’s frankly politically correct and in many ways it makes us all feel good. I feel that way,’ Rawlings said. ‘But I hesitate because I realize the city of Dallas is better, is stronger when we are, and not divided. My goal as mayor, my job as mayor, is to continue to unite our city.’ ”
The monuments task force has 90 days to recommend action regarding the issue.
If, as the Mayor said, the monuments are symbols of injustice, what will the task force decide about the city’s name? Or, will they simply ignore it – out of political expediency?
Atop the Dallas Confederate War Memorial’s 18-meter (59 feet) pillar stands a Confederate soldier at parade rest, leaning on his rifle. The figure of a lone unidentified soldier is a common feature atop such monuments. Here it stands high above the politician and generals.
The monument was dedicated in June 1896. In 1961 it was moved from the Old City Park to Pioneer Park in downtown Dallas.
The four statues around the pillar depict Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee, Albert S. Johnston, Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, and Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
There is a round medallion near the bottom of the pillar depicting the face of Confederate General William Lewis Cabell. Cabell was born (1827) in Virginia and graduated from West Point Military Academy (1850). When the Civil War broke out, he volunteered in Arkansas to serve the Confederacy. In October 1864, he was captured by Union forces and spent the rest of the war as a P.O.W.
In 1874, Cabell was elected Mayor of Dallas and served three terms: 1874-1876; 1877-1879; and 1883-1885.
Cabell died on February 22, 1911. His body lay in state until February 26, “the casket draped with a large Confederate flag, surrounded by masses of flowers and watched over by a guard of honor from Confederate Veterans.”
Here is a description of his funeral procession to Greenwood Cemetery, Dallas, Texas: “Following the caisson, draped in the two flags — the U. S. and the Confederate — came his riderless horse, remindful of the dead Cavalry Officer, then the Infantry and Artillery of the Texas National Guard, the Confederate Veterans, with them being mingled Veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic.”
Some may be surprised that former Union soldiers attended Cabell’s funeral. Likewise, the photo of Confederate and Union soldiers at a 50th Anniversary of end of the Civil War may seem odd to those today who want to continue fighting the war.
One of Cabell’s grandsons, Charles P. Cabell, became a four-star general in the United States Air Force and Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Another grandson, Earle Cabell, served as Mayor of Dallas from 1961-1964. Today, the Earl Cabell Federal Building and Court House is located in downtown Dallas.
The medallion on the Confederate War Memorial, dedicated to William Lewis “Old Tige” Cabell, would be a noteworthy piece of Dallas history to erase.
If you ask the Office of Public Information for the City of Dallas who the city was named after, you, too, may be told “Google it.”
If you Google it, the answer is “George Mifflin Dallas.”
If you search the City of Dallas website to confirm that answer, you’ll read this:
“The origin of the name of the town of Dallas is obscure. We have no primary evidence from John Neely Bryan, the founder of the town, indicating exactly how he chose the name ‘Dallas.’ Bryan (1810-1877), a trader, farmer, lawyer, and land speculator, is well documented in legal and business records but left few personal writings. Frank M. Cockrell, an early pioneer who knew Bryan, recalled that Bryan asserted ‘the town was named for my friend Dallas’.
There has been much speculation about exactly who that person named Dallas was. Cockrell believed that it was George Mifflin Dallas, vice-president of the United States during the administration of President James K. Polk. Dallas County is generally believed to have been named for George Mifflin Dallas since Polk County, named for President Polk, was created on March 30, 1846, the same day that Dallas County was created. The city, however, is a different story.”
The U.S. Senate is more certain concerning the origin of the city’s name. The Senate’s website states:
“Texas memorialized his [Dallas’] contributions to the state’s history by renaming the town of Peter’s Corner in his honor. In the 1850s, when officials in Oregon sought a name for the principal town in Polk County, they settled on the logical choice: Polk’s vice president. Thus, while largely forgotten today as the nation’s eleventh vice president, George Mifflin Dallas has won his measure of immortality in a large Texas city and a small Oregon town.”
Additional testimony concerning the origin of the city’s name was given 92 years ago when the Dallas Morning News introduced the woman who won the contest to name the city. In the April 19, 1925, edition of The Dallas Morning News, in an article entitled “WOMAN CHOSE NAMEOF CITY OF DALLAS, STARTED WHEN JOHN NEELY BRYAN BUILT CABIN ON BANK OF RIVER, WAS FIRST EXPLORER, Mrs. Martha Gilbert, Wife of Pioneer, Won Prize for Picking Name for Town” – from a time when long titles and lengthy paragraphs were common – we read:
“While Mr. Bryan was at home in the role of backwoodsman, it seems that he did not know so much about towns. Try as he might, he could not light on a name that seemed appropriate, and he must have thought others would encounter as much difficulty as he had met with, for he offered pick and choice of the lots in his town to anyone who could suggest a suitable name, he to be judge of the contest. There is no record of the details of the contest, but it is safe to assume that everybody tried for the prize. The outcome was that Mrs. Martha Gilbert, wife of Dr. Gilbert, was declared the winner, and that she selected as her prize, the lot on the northwest corner of Commerce and Houston streets. James K. Polk, was President of the United States at the time, and Mrs. Gilbert’s reason for selecting the name of the Vice President, George M. Dallas, instead of that of the President, is left to conjecture, but, in Macaulay fashion, may be easily arrived at. Every one of the new States named a county for the President and the name Polk had become much hackneyed. Besides, as a word to stand alone and on its own feet, Dallas sounds much better to even the dullest ear, than the word Polk, which seems to be thin, and in need of something to support it. Mrs. Gilbert, thus, has the distinction not only of having been the first white woman to appear in this part of the country, but also of having selected the name of the metropolis of the Southwest.” (Bolding not in original)
So, the internet had rendered a verdict: Dallas, the city, was named after the 11th Vice President of the United States.
Coming Next in Part 2: Who was George M. Dallas, and how does his legacy align with the stated motives of 2017 Great Purge of American History?
Since November 2007, Lee Cary has written hundreds of articles for several websites including the American Thinker, and Breitbart’s Big Journalism and Big Government (as “Archy Cary”). His work has been quoted on national television (Sean Hannity) and on nationally syndicated radio (Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin). He is quoted in Jerome Corsi’s book “The Obama Nation,” in Mark Levin’s “Liberty and Tyranny.” His pieces have posted on the Drudge Report and on the website Real Clear Politics. Cary holds a B.S. in Economics from Northern Illinois University, and a Masters and a Doctorate in Theology from the Methodist seminary at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army in Military Intelligence. Cary lives in Texas.Commenting Policy
Pursuant to Title 17 U.S.C. 107, other copyrighted work is provided for educational purposes, research, critical comment, or debate without profit or payment. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for your own purposes beyond the 'fair use' exception, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Views are those of authors and not necessarily those of Canada Free Press. Content is Copyright 1997-2017 the individual authors. Site Copyright 1997-2017 Canada Free Press.Com Privacy Statement